Monday, August 8, 2011

An Unfortunate Turn Of Events

This afternoon, in response to erroneous information that I had somehow said Will Lyles had no relationship with Lache Seastrunk, Mr. Lyles made a public response to my most recent article. Here is his response:

"People don't stick to the facts. This is all speculation, innuendo and scorned opinion from people who were not there for the kid. It wasn't (for) football that Lache needed help, it was qualifying academically to have an opportunity to play football on the next level. His family or his Head Coach were not there to help him through that process. It was Deanna Carter and I who helped get that done. His grandmother and grandfather (have) been the constant in his life as far as family is concerned. I never said I was Lache's sole mentor. There were other people that influenced his life and decisions. All I did was state the facts."
Now, first of all, the only “facts” I presented in the article were statements made by family members as well as Scott and Deanna Carter. The facts as they see them are, in fact, their truth. If Mr. Lyles believes the facts to be different, then he has the right to that belief.

He further states that it was he and Deanna Carter that helped Lache qualify academically. Mr. Lyles was given an opportunity to speak and declined to speak with me, so I told the story as it was told to me. Laches family confirmed that Deanna Carter helped Lache tremendously. They are fully aware of the effort she put into his academic life and are very appreciative of those efforts.

The article further clearly articulates the role of Annie Harris, Lache's grandmother, whom he affectionately calls “Nana.”

The Oregonian article implies that Lyles refutes my words... what he really does is reinforce what I said... “There were other people that influenced his life and decisions.” Was that not the intent of the entire series? To point out that Lache Seastrunk had many wonderful people helping him along his path? It sure was.

But that brings us to a bigger, more important question. The article I wrote does not belittle Lyles, yet he felt the need to “defend himself.” In reality, this article (and the three part series) were ALWAYS intended to paint a picture of Lache Seastrunk that no one had seen. For five months, the only time we hear Lache Seastrunk's name is in reference tot he “recruiting scandal at Oregon.” And this is extremely unfair. It paints the wrong picture.

The article I wrote showed a human element and made it about what it should be; Lache Seastrunk and his incredible determination to chase his dreams. And what happened? Someone else, once again, tried to come in and steal his thunder. Why could Will Lyles not just sit back and let Lache Seastrunk enjoy having the focus be about him as a person? Why did it have to come back to him?

I just received an email from one of the relatives I interviewed and, they are upset. Not without reason either. While the NCAA investigates, Oregon begins practices. The reason for the timing of the release was so that fans could see a true vision of the kind of young man Lache Seastrunk has become. Instead, an adult who says he cares about Lache continues to bring his name back into his own narcissistic world. Will, this story wasn't about you; let it go. Let Lache be a positive light in this world.

As the relative told me tonight, Lache's future is at stake here. Lyles' future is determined, don't take Lache down with you. Keep it positive. Let Lache chase down that dream.

This is what the family told me after the story was written:

I am in tears and I'm truly grateful for you. You have no idea how much this makes us feel, after so much negativity we can now breathe. Thank you!”

It's time to let them breathe. It's time to let Lache breathe.


  1. Right on! Willie just crawl back under the rock. Your 15 minutes are up.

  2. Attababy, Scott.

    When the dust settles, we will be able to see everyone who's in your public critics' club...and I think the membership list will be revealing.

  3. Notice how Lyles is all talk about the athlete until a journalist does their job and investigates rather than regurgitates? The last time Lyles was this upset was when Jason Whitlock of Fox Sports called him out for attempting to sell the "Willie Lyles Story" (Nearly before there was a story, I might add.). Now we have your well researched and written article and look who pops back up to say you don't know what you're talking about...Lyles. It's amazing the guy even bothers with the "it's for the athlete" B.S. any more. Reminds me of the Iraq/WMD B.S. we had to listen to for years!

    Clearly Lyles is trying to play both puppet and puppet-master through all of this. Sadly, I doubt the NCAA can take their green-colored glasses off long enough to realize that their exploitation of the student-athlete isn't any different than Lyles'.

    You should be very proud of your series of articles! Thanks for all the work you put in on it! GO DUCKS!!!

  4. You know whats more glaring to me? The fact that The Oregonian, ONCE AGAIN, found a way to make another sensationalist shot at getting more website traffic. Twisting the facts and milking, their access to Lyles. The garbage writers at the Oregonian are trying their hardest to stay relevant during a series revelations brought to light during you. The Oregonian is a bush league rag that realized they were getting out-researched by Scott. Long live quality journalism!

  5. Someone at the paper needs to grab a dictionary and look up the word "refute." Nothing Lyles said in EITHER piece refuted my artcile. In fact, both times he reinforced what I said.

    Will Lyles has not responded to my requests to speak with him, so, if he feels the need to continue speaking, it will only serve to further my points. If he's not going to talk to me, then keep talking to someone... it can only help.


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